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Cuti Kwa Ambuya Holidays with grandmother

Written by Violet Otieno

Illustrated by Catherine Groenewald

Translated by Bether Mwale Moyo

Language Nyanja

Level Level 4

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Udongo na Apiyo anali kunkala mu tauni na atate awo. Anali kukonda ntawi yamene masikulu anali ovala, cifukwa anali kuyenda pacuti kwa ambuya awo. Ambuya awo anali kunkala mu muzi wa pafupi na musinje waukulu.

Odongo and Apiyo lived in the city with their father. They looked forward to the holidays. Not just because school was closed, but because they went to visit their grandmother. She lived in a fishing village near a large lake.


Udongo na Apiyo anali okondwela cifukwa inali ntawi yoyenda pa cute kwa ambuya awo. Usiku analonga vyola vawo kukonzekela ulendo. Usiku uyo, ana awa, anakangiwa kugona ndipo anaceza usiku onse pazaulendo.

Odongo and Apiyo were excited because it was time to visit their grandmother again. The night before, they packed their bags and got ready for the long journey to her village. They could not sleep and talked the whole night about the holiday.


Kuseni seni anayambapo, ulendo woyenda kumunzi mu motoka ya atate awo. Anapitilila mapili, vinyama vamusanga ndiponso minda za masamba. Ana awa, anawelenga mamotoka munjila ndipo anayimba nyimbo.

Early the next morning, they left for the village in their father’s car. They drove past mountains, wild animals and tea plantations. They counted cars and sang songs.


Panapita ntawi ndipo ana awa anagona cifukwa analema.

After a while, the children were tired and fell asleep.


Pamene anafika pa munzi, atate a Odongo na Apiyo ana usa ana. Ana anapeza ambuya awo aligone pa mpasa munsi mwa mutengo. Ambuya awo anali muzimai wampamvu, ndipo wokongola kwambili.

Father woke up Odongo and Apiyo as they arrived in the village. They found Nyar-Kanyada, their grandmother, resting on a mat under a tree. Nyar-Kanyada in Luo, means ‘daughter of the people of Kanyada’. She was a strong and beautiful woman.


Ambuya anakondwela kwambili ndipo anavina vina, nayimba nyimbo zacisangalalo. Azukulu nawo anakondwela kwambili, ndipo anapasa ambuya awo mpaso zomwe anawabwelesela.    “Yambililani kusegula yanga mpaso,” anati Odongo. “Yambililani yanga,” anati Apiyo.

Nyar-Kanyada welcomed them into the house and danced around the room singing with joy. Her grandchildren were excited to give her the presents they brought from the city. “First open my gift,” said Odongo. “No, my gift first!” said Apiyo.


Pomwe anasegula mpaso, Ambuya awo anawadalisa azukulu awo monga mwa mwambo.

After she opened the presents, Nyar-Kanyada blessed her grandchildren in a traditional way.


Ndipo Odongo na Apiyo anayenda panja nayamba kupilikisa ma bulaula na mbalame.

Then Odongo and Apiyo went outside. They chased butterflies and birds.


Ana awa, anakwela mitengo ndipo anasewela na manzi.

They climbed trees and splashed in the water of the lake.


Pamene kunafipa, ana anabwelela kunyumba mukudya cakudya ca usiku. Koma ana awa anagona akalibe kusiliza kudya.

When it was dark they returned to the house for dinner. Before they could finish eating, they were falling asleep!


Mumawa mwake, atate ake a Odongo na Apiyo anabwelele ku tauni. Ana anasala na ambuya awo.

The next day, the children’s father drove back to the city leaving them with Nyar-Kanyada.


Odongo na Apiyo anatandiza ambuya awo na zincito za panyumba. Ana awa anatapa manzi na kusakila nkuni. Anadoba mazila ndipo anatyola ndiyo mumunda.

Odongo and Apiyo helped their grandmother with household chores. They fetched water and firewood. They collected eggs from the chickens and picked greens from the garden.


Ambuya anapunzisa azukulu awo kupika nsima, nsomba, na ndiyo zina zakumunzi.

Nyar-Kanyada taught her grandchildren to make soft ugali to eat with stew. She showed them how to make coconut rice to eat with roast fish.


Kuseni kwina, Odongo anayenda kudyesela ng’ombe. Ng’ombe zina zinayenda mumunda mwa antu ena. Antuwa ankalipa kwambili ndipo ananena kuti azazigwila ng’ombe. Odongo ana punzila, ndipo anatayako nzelu kuti Ng’ombe zisazipanga milandu.

One morning, Odongo took his grandmother’s cows to graze. They ran onto a neighbour’s farm. The farmer was angry with Odongo. He threatened to keep the cows for eating his crops. After that day, the boy made sure that the cows did not get into trouble again.


Siku lina ana anayenda ku musika na ambuya awo. Anayenda kukagulisa ndiyo za mumunda, shuga na sopo. Apiyo anali kukonda kuuza antu mitengo za vintu. Odongo anali kukonda kulongeza vintu vamena antu anali kugula.

On another day, the children went to the marketplace with Nyar-Kanyada. She had a stall selling vegetables, sugar and soap. Apiyo liked to tell customers the price of items. Odongo would pack the items that customers bought.


Pakusila kwa siku ana anatandiza ambuya awo kuwelenga ndalama, ndipo pamozi anamwa tiyi.

At the end of the day they drank chai tea together. They helped grandmother to count the money she earned.


Mwazizizi, masiku yonkala pa cute yanasila ndipo ana anafunika kubwelela ku tauni. Ambuya anapasa Odongo kapu ndipo anapasa Apiyo covala ca mpepo. Ambuya analonga cakudya capaulendo.

But too soon the holidays were over and the children had to go back to the city. Nyar-Kanyada gave Odongo a cap and Apiyo a sweater. She packed food for their journey.


Odongo na Apiyo sibanafune kubwelela ku tauni. Ana anapempa ambuya awo kuti ayende nawo ku tauni.  Koma ambuya anati “Ndine nkalamba ndipo siningankale mu tauni, koma mukabwela kuno kumuzi muzakanipeza.”

When their father came to fetch them, they did not want to leave. The children begged Nyar-Kanyada to go with them to the city. She smiled and said, “I am too old for the city. I will be waiting for you to come to my village again.”


Odongo na Apiyo analayilana na ambuya awo.

Odongo and Apiyo both hugged her tightly and said goodbye.


Pamene Odongo na Apiyo anabwelele ku sukulu, anauza anzao za umoyo wakumunzi. Anzao ena anakonda umoyo wamu tauni koma ena anakonda umoyo wakumunzi.    Koma onse ana ananena kuti ambuya a Odongo na Apiyo ni abwino mutima.

When Odongo and Apiyo went back to school they told their friends about life in the village. Some children felt that life in the city was good. Others felt that the village was better. But most of all, everyone agreed that Odongo and Apiyo had a wonderful grandmother!


Written by: Violet Otieno
Illustrated by: Catherine Groenewald
Translated by: Bether Mwale Moyo
Language: Nyanja
Level: Level 4
Source: Holidays with grandmother from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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